Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 21 - Eternal Camping Trip

First, no news on the Interpol clearance. Ugh! We need prayer!

Felix with R & Z's roommates

Whoo-hoo, got my first shower in 3 days! Of course, I had to wake up at midnight to do it. Kherson is experiencing rolling black outs this week, so no electricity or steam during the day. No power means no pumps to pressurize the BH water. No steam means no heat in the building.
I get up about seven everyday and the power is always on and the room is warm. Time to take a shower and wash clothes, right? Nope, promptly at eight, the power and steam disappear all day until the evening, when by the way, I'm at the orphanage. When I get home from visiting and going to dinner, I assume that I can shower up. Nope, power goes off again and comes back on sometime in the night while I'm sleeping. It takes a couple of hours to heat up the water tank again each time the power/steam go off, so I've been missing out. It took a few repetitions of this for me to catch on.

Sasha tells me this is normal and is a way to alleviate over usage when the plant cannot keep up with demand. It has snowed everyday this week and it is cold, but not like the sub-zero temps of last week. This week is actually OK. But I guess a lot of people are using a lot of power.
This is different from when the circuit breakers trip downstairs. Through trial and error and watching the staff goof, I have deduced that you cannot run two major appliances in the building at once. Any combination of two or more of the following kills power to most of the building and drops the Internet: portable heater, hot water kettle, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, lights on. I really feel like I'm on a camping trip that won't end. However, days like this picture makes it bearable. And it only keeps getting better.

Rimma opens up a little more each day and is talking a lot more to me than in the past. She's becoming more affectionate, but gets jealous of the time I spend with Z. Rimma wears her heart on her sleeve and it is always apparent if she is happy, jealous, upset or mad. I'm careful to give Rimma equal time...I wonder what it will be like once we get home.

Rimma told me two days ago that she is ready to go home and get out of the orphanage. She really likes our weekends out on the town. This weekend I will have both girls during the day for awhile. They both want to go to the salon to get their hair done and Zina needs new shoes. Normally, this isn't my bag, but what else am I gonna do? Hang out here at Bible House campground?

The girls asked me to tell them the story of how Heidi and I met. I love that they want to know and be part of our family history. I told them about how Heidi's friend Anita took her dancing and how my friend Jeb and I went to the same dance. Anita and Jeb had dated once upon a time and they introduced me to Heidi that night. I told the girls that I knew then at first sight that I wanted to marry her. Just like, when at first sight, I knew they would be my daughters. They laughed as I recounted the day after our first real date when Heidi called me to have lunch with her. I was at church and there was a message on my phone after Sunday school and service. I "Bo Duke'd" it across town, jumping hills and straightening curves as I raced there for the opportunity to see her. They were hysterical as I told them I stopped at a little store and bought a tooth brush, tooth paste and bottled water and brushed my teeth down the street from her house. However, I didn't get that first kiss that day after all.

After I finished my story, the girls had one of their own. They both told me about the time they spent in our home in 2007. They felt like they were a part of a family on that trip and our house was full of love and happiness. They could feel the bond growing between us and didn't want to leave. They felt that God had brought us together for a purpose. A lot more was said about that time together, parts of which prove the need, the want for a family. Afterwards, the girls giggled about a particular occurrence. They confessed that they would get up at night and sneak down to the Christmas tree and open the tiny silver box ornaments that were full of M & M's hanging on the tree. I told them that I knew they were doing it, but I never knew when. Before they went to bed each night, I refilled the boxes for them. I have since earned that Rimma loves plain M & M's.


Heidi and Felix said...

I hope I haven't sounded negative about the Bible House (BH). I love the BH, especially the warm friendly staff, it's cleanliness, it's security features and the close proximity to the orphanage. Two and a half bocks and a 10 minute walk on most days is a great thing. I would be experiencing blackouts if I were staying elsewhere. The price is right too at half the cost of apartments.


Kevin and Pam said...

I love your stories about the girls. They are beautiful. It is obvious they adore you! No, you aren't being negative just giving a real life picture of Ukraine. We had similar things happen when we stayed at a Missionary Clinic in Belgorod! You couldn't beat the price there either but there were sacrifices. You will have many more stories to tell when you get home! Praying you hear something soon.

Mayme said...

Keep making the most of you time to be with your daughters!! it sounds like it has been (almost) worth the wait for the gains your relationships are making!!
Have fun camping!! Mayme

The McEacherns said...

Ah, Ukrainian camping. Our first trip to Ukraine included quite a bit of that! At least you don't have to tie your food up in a tree!

Thanks for sharing the stories. So fun to hear. It's awesome how God brings families together!

Anonymous said...

At least you don't have fleas in your bed!!!


Tuttle Family said...

I thought I would forward you some information that I got back today. We have trying to push as many buttons as possible sence this process went into effect going so far as having contacts in US also push to find out information as well as emailing the deputy director at the US Embassy to get information about this interpol thing, not sure what you have heard but I figured I would forward what we have found out. includes our email to the embassy

To: Kyiv, Adoptions
Subject: Current Status of Adoptive Families Interpol Check

To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing to you directly for assistance in clarifying the status of the new policy set forth by the Ukrainian SDA requiring families that had their dossiers submitted and approved in 2009, to undergo an Interpol background check.

What is the actual status of the list of all United States adopting families currently in Ukraine, which was submitted to Interpol for background check on January 25th 2010;

Was that list indeed submitted January 25th?

Were our names on that list?

What is the turn-around time or expected date to receive response/clearance from Interpol?

Thank you for your time, consideration, and concern in this matter,

Marc Tuttle and Vera Genkin

Dear Mr. Tuttle and Mrs. Genkin:

According to the most recent information from Interpol-Ukraine, the checks will be submitted to SDA next week. The clearances were completed for all American families who are in the country right now, including you. Please contact the SDA next week. Note, however, that by regulations SDA also has five days to finalize consents for courts after they receive Interpol checks. They will try to process them faster, of course, for the pipeline cases, like yours.

We hope this information helps.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions.
Adoption Unit/Immigrant Visa Section
Consular Section
American Embassy
Kyiv, Ukraine
Tel: 38-044-4904422
Fax: 38-044-490-4570

Heidi and Felix said...

Thanks Tuttles!

Matt said...

What's it going to be like when you get home??? Well, let's review: you have 3 other new siblings from Ukraine; you're bringing one of two others home in a few weeks and going back again for one, possibly two more, at the earliest opportunity. You have to integrate and assimilate the new one into family life which includes the on-going process and challenges of the other 3, all of which has the under-lying dynamic of two others in the future! Gee, I just can't even imagine that it will be anything short of sheer "adoptopia"! However, if anyone, or couple have the strength to accomplish this-it would be you two! Off topic: after a brief discussion, Aimee and I have concluded that one of her "major emotions (apparantly there are several-this is one we have identified) includes: "near-vomitting" and one of the "food groups" is chap-stick! I could "blog" about her, us, relationships, men v. women all day! Hang in there. Keep up the good work in the face of hardship-you're doing great. Always your friend and brother in Christ!!

Heidi and Felix said...

Right on, Cathy. Friends, the fleas in the bed story is about a week long sailing certification that Bruce, Cathy, Heidi and I took back in January 2008. The name of the boat was, no kidding, the hound dog and had an infestation of fleas which was worse in B & C's cabin. Poor Cathy had to jump ship after a couple of days and go to the clinic for treatment. The boat leaked fuel into some of the prettiest waters in the BVI, too. And the Captain was less intelegent than Captain Ron, which we nicknamed him!


Leslie said...

We have been checking in and watching this unfold. Know that the Landrums are praying for you and the girls in Ukraine and Heidi and the kids at home. Stay strong!!!

Conethia and Jim Bob said...

I am praying for you and the girls that your clearance comes soon. It was a full 28 days for us until we really started our process. Praying for strength for you and all your family.

Debbie said...

Felix, I love seeing pictures of the kids. How cool that you get to spend time with them. We didn't really have much opportunity...L didn't want to be there or be with her group mates.

Little Nika just touches my heart. Do you know her story? (We can chat off-blog.)

Shari said...

Hi, I am a fellow Ukranian adoptive parent, and I enjoy following your blog. I was wondering if any of the beautiful girls in the picture are available for adoption?
Hope all goes smoothly for you in the rest of your journey.

About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.